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gulick_24
Community Participant

Reject a Blueprint sync?

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1. How can an instructor refuse a specific update sent from a Blueprint course? For example, I send syncs from a master course to 30 sections. If one of those instructors decides they don't want a certain update that I've sent out, how do they reject that update? 

2. If there's really no way to reject it, how do I select what sections to send the sync to (without breaking the Blueprint association with that section because they want future updates to other content)?

I remember something about an instructor notification where an instructor could accept or reject a sync, but now that I've implemented Blueprint in my department, the only notifications my instructors are getting are that their course has been synced (and the message I sent with it), not an option to accept or reject that particular update.

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
lindalee
Community Champion

Hi M Gulick,

You present an interesting question, but unfortunately, Blueprint Courses don't work in exactly the way that you describe.

To answer your questions:

1. How can an instructor refuse a specific update sent from a Blueprint course? For example, I send syncs from a master course to 30 sections. If one of those instructors decides they don't want a certain update that I've sent out, how do they reject that update? 

Instructors cannot refuse a specific update. Blueprint updates work on a "push" model not a "pull" model. (My understanding is that materials shared through Canvas Commons works on a "pull" model, but our institution doesn't use Commons, so I really don't know.) The resources on this page might be helpful: Is there a Canvas Commons vs. Blueprint Course document/table? Be sure to check out the table shared by Victoria Maloy. And Fitsum Abebe (Admin) shared an excellent resource here: https://community.canvaslms.com/message/90462-re-blueprints-vs-commons.

Instructors be informed about Blueprint syncs, depending on their Blueprint Sync notification settings and whether the person who initiates a sync chooses to send a notification. But that's not the same thing at all.

2. If there's really no way to reject it, how do I select what sections to send the sync to (without breaking the Blueprint association with that section because they want future updates to other content)?

You also cannot select which sections/associated sites to update and which to not update.

The best way to accomplish this is to leave content unlocked in the Blueprint template site. That would allow instructors in the child/associated sites to change material if they want to. Changes to unlocked items (assignments, quizzes, pages, etc.) in an associated course won't be overwritten during a sync. So: say assignment 1 is left unlocked, and the instructor in site A modifies that assignment and the instructor in site B does not, an update to assignment 1 will be synced to site B, but not site A.

Again, this isn't exactly the same as what you describe, but is the way to provide the kind of flexibility you are asking about when using Blueprint.

Good luck! I hope this helps.

Best,

Linda

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7 Replies
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @gulick_24 , I'm not much of an expert on Blueprint classes, but luckily I do know a couple of people who are! I've shared this post with them and have also provided links to some resources they've created.

Hope this gets you the help and answers you're looking for!

Kona

lindalee
Community Champion

Hi M Gulick,

You present an interesting question, but unfortunately, Blueprint Courses don't work in exactly the way that you describe.

To answer your questions:

1. How can an instructor refuse a specific update sent from a Blueprint course? For example, I send syncs from a master course to 30 sections. If one of those instructors decides they don't want a certain update that I've sent out, how do they reject that update? 

Instructors cannot refuse a specific update. Blueprint updates work on a "push" model not a "pull" model. (My understanding is that materials shared through Canvas Commons works on a "pull" model, but our institution doesn't use Commons, so I really don't know.) The resources on this page might be helpful: Is there a Canvas Commons vs. Blueprint Course document/table? Be sure to check out the table shared by Victoria Maloy. And Fitsum Abebe (Admin) shared an excellent resource here: https://community.canvaslms.com/message/90462-re-blueprints-vs-commons.

Instructors be informed about Blueprint syncs, depending on their Blueprint Sync notification settings and whether the person who initiates a sync chooses to send a notification. But that's not the same thing at all.

2. If there's really no way to reject it, how do I select what sections to send the sync to (without breaking the Blueprint association with that section because they want future updates to other content)?

You also cannot select which sections/associated sites to update and which to not update.

The best way to accomplish this is to leave content unlocked in the Blueprint template site. That would allow instructors in the child/associated sites to change material if they want to. Changes to unlocked items (assignments, quizzes, pages, etc.) in an associated course won't be overwritten during a sync. So: say assignment 1 is left unlocked, and the instructor in site A modifies that assignment and the instructor in site B does not, an update to assignment 1 will be synced to site B, but not site A.

Again, this isn't exactly the same as what you describe, but is the way to provide the kind of flexibility you are asking about when using Blueprint.

Good luck! I hope this helps.

Best,

Linda

View solution in original post

victoria-maloy
Community Champion

I +1 everything that  @lindalee ‌ has said.  The idea behind setting up a Blueprint course is that everything from the Master site goes to the Minion sites (to use the vocabulary that I loved from Linda's InstructureCarn 2018 presentation).  Instructors in the Minion site do not get to decide "they don't want a certain update."

I will add that it is still possible to create an unpublished module & move blueprint pushed material into this hidden space.  Even if the material is locked and published.

gulick_24
Community Participant

Thank you Linda, that's very helpful!  I will definitely check out those resources you linked.

Hi Victoria, Your idea about the unpublished module is intriguing...I want to run this idea by you (and anyone else who reads this). (I'll also check out the resources Linda provided above.) 

Here's my situation: Our department's instructors all teach to the same learning outcomes (because they teach the same course name/number) but how they teach the content and what resources they use to do so is up to them.  That creates a tricky line for me as the coordinator between supplying resources while being mindful to not limit them on what they can do in their canvas shell (i.e. I'm hesitant to "lock" any published content because--for our department--instructors need to retain control over their course).  Although all our instructors follow a general outline, they officially have ownership over their own course. So I provide the resources at the beginning of the semester via one big blueprint sync, and throughout the semester, I update their sections with updates such as department-wide extra credit announcements, updated links to external resources, fixing any typos, etc. So while using Commons makes sense for instructors to pull in resources they want to add, I still need a way to push out updates such as Blueprint.  Before this semester (our 1st time trying Blueprint), we would be in our weekly meeting and I'd say "everyone go to module 3, click the second link, scroll to the 4th paragraph, and fix the typo in the 3rd sentence" (that sort of thing).  They'd have to do that for every section they teach (we're also experimenting with merging sections this semester but that's another topic).  So we're thrilled to be trying Blueprint this semester. Smiley Happy 

So here's my idea for your (and anyone's) feedback:

(Also, we organize our course as Module 1 - Week 1, Module 2 = Week 2, etc.).

So at the beginning of the semester, the instructors would see:

Module 1 (published, unlocked) - includes all the content they'll need for the week, which they can edit.

Module 1 (unpublished, locked) - includes all the content they'll need for the week with any updates I sync to it. 

So when I send a Sync notification saying "Here's the updated page for Module 1's topic", an instructor can delete the outdated page from the published Module 1, then drag the updated page from the unpublished Module 1 and (edit if necessary because it'll have unlocked when they drag it to the published module...maybe?). Voila, the link has been updated (via sync) AND the instructor was able to choose to use or not use the update, AND was able to edit it.

I could do a similar thing via Commons, but I'm thinking this would be easier for the instructor because they can do it all from their one canvas site without having to go back and forth to Commons. (Although to be honest, I haven't checked out the Commons stuff yet, but I will do so soon!)

I'm eager to learn from folks about the awesome options Smiley Happy I have enthusiasm but am still relatively new to the world of Canvas--just hit my one-year "work-aversary" yesterday, woot woot!

The only small tiny problem with your proposed idea is that Modules do not have the ability to be locked.  All the items in a Module can be locked, but the description of your Module 1s won't be able to be implemented.   So instead, I'd suggest giving your unpublished "Module 1" a very descriptive name -  "Module 1 UPDATES DO NOT PUBLISH THIS MODULE."  And perhaps throw in an unpublished page with further instructions at least for the first module of the semester.

Otherwise, I think you've got a solid plan to try.   Good luck & be sure to let us know what you discover along the way!

We have a department that is using Commons to push announcements to all courses, but it involved enrolling a departmental administrator into all courses as designers.  It works for this specific department because of the culture there, it wouldn't be acceptable to other departments to have the additional person in the course site.

Hi M Gulick,

The only thing I'll add to Victoria Maloy's response is that you might also have some trouble with the Week 1 Published module. If teaching team members add content to modules that have been created in the Blueprint template, the content they add to it will automatically move to the top of the module upon subsequent syncs. This will likely create unpleasant, unexpected behavior.

You might try having an EMPTY published weekly module (that's essentially a placeholder) into which they can add the content that they want to use, and then the unpublished weekly module with content that they can select from among. You can then add content into the unpublished module via Blueprint sync without disrupting their curated modules.

Unfortunately, it means course-specific customization for each weekly module, which is a drag.

In the meantime, please up-vote https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/9548-blueprint-make-modules-lockable" modifiedtitle="true" tit...!

-Linda